A Lake Villa man is facing 15 years in jail after being charged with aggravated discharge of a firearm after what he says was the accidental shooting of his neighbor during a night of drinking, authorities said.
Frank Geu, 44, of the 36000 block of N. Alice Drive, was drinking with the victim inside the neighbor's garage on Saturday, Sept. 14, when he loaded a gun, then shot the neighbor at about 9:11 p.m., said Lake County Assistant States Attorney Stephen Scheller.
Scheller said the two neighbors were drinking when they started having a conversation about guns. The discussion prompted Geu to leave the neighbor's house, go to his own home, then return with two, fully-loaded, semiautomatic handguns to show the victim.
When inspecting the guns, Scheller said the victim noticed the guns were loaded, so he unloaded the weapons for inspection.
After returning the guns to Geu, the victim turned his back for a second, at which time Geu reloaded one of the weapons, pointed it at the victim, and pulled the trigger, Scheller said.
The victim was hit in the side of the body near the rib cage, Scheller said, but was still able to retreat inside his home and tell his wife he had just been shot, Scheller said.
The victim was taken to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, Scheller said, and had surgery. Scheller said the bullet went through the victim, damaging the man's ribs, lung and spleen.
Police interviewed Geu and the victim, Scheller said, and both shared a similar story. Geu said the shooting was an accident and that he never intended to fire the weapon at his neighbor.
"The neighbor told police he never intended to hurt the victim and that it was an accident," Scheller said.
In addition to charges of aggravated discharge of a weapon, Geu was also charged with reckless conduct causing great bodily harm, a felony that carries a sentence of up to three years.
Geu was released from Lake County jail after posting the required 10 percent of the $25,000 bail. He's due back in court on Oct. 7.